Millennium Bridge, April
Freed from death, cats and the home counties
I bound, gazelle-like, back to the city.
She makes me smile with a text: LOL, almost.
I try the same in return.
South to North is old to new
and the surface of this thing has always been
springy, playful, post-modern.
The river cares less, flows from copse to sea regardless,
and she grins as I bounce down the other side.
St Paul’s sits behind her, grinning too.
Beautiful. She’s beautiful. It’s a yes!
We all walk incorrectly. I do what I can to please the engineers
but sometimes I think I walk more incorrectly than most.
Jurassic coast. Yes, yes: I feel like a fossil.
Her swallowing of life is whole.
On the beach she charms an old couple
And adds them to her list of the in-love.
Last night I left a tea-bag on the sink
And the stain spread into the future.
She said it was greener and sweeter up here,
kinder than down there on the plain
but the mountains are tooth-white
monsters which loom, leer, command, compel:
now you see them, now you don’t.
Lakes curl their fingers, beckon like crones.
The quiet sky pulls you up with its own white, tremulous hands.
Oaks, pines, rhododendrons sit, expectant.
The air thins as you speak, becomes more and more
reluctant to help.
It’s tiring, this paused, shivering beauty,
but the little cafe and the German tourists and the bottled water
are just right for now.
I take off my hat, slap on the cream, wait for her.
The sun ignores the cream, burns my face.
You were by far the most beautiful thing I’d ever seen and I smiled at you
about 1.4 seconds after you’d walked past me.